Tuesday, March 16, 2010

(un)Apology for Country Music

Hello. My name is Bee and I like country music.

I've kept this forbidden love hidden since eighth grade. Our social studies teacher gave us an assignment to choose a song with at least four similes and metaphors, play the song for entire class, and describe what those similes and metaphors mean.

In hindsight, this assignment does not belong in the realm of "social studies".

I think the teacher just wanted a) students to think he was cool and b) kill the rest of the school year without actually teaching.

This same teacher was rumored to be an undercover FBI agent. At least every day in the middle of class one student would raise their hand and ask if he was really truly a FBI agent. Because I can keep it secret, I swear.

He'd act annoyed but he secretly loved it.

We had to submit three song ideas and the lyrics. I turned in: Garth Brook's "The Fever", Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine", (in hindsight: not an appropriate choice as it's about a girl losing her virginity) and "I am the Walrus" by the Beatles. That last one I kind of threw in at the last minute because my brother was convinced he knew the deep hidden meaning of the song.

When I got my proposal back, my teacher had written something snarky, like "Not country music! Anything but country music!"

So I pretended I just submitted country suggestions ironically, did the presentation over "I am the Walrus", got a crappy grade because really there is no good explanation for what the hell it's about (plus Wikipedia wasn't around yet so I couldn't even fake it), didn't get to into honors History my freshman year, and started pretending that I didn't like country music.

It baffled me how other kids effortlessly started learning about "cool" music. My parents listened to country and oldies so I listened to country and oldies. The radio was never turned to anything else so I was never exposed it. In grade school I had heard of New Kids on the Block but didn't know any of their songs.

Freshman year of highschool I borrowed all of my friend's tapes and made copies, started listening to alternative music radio stations, and dated guys who knew about music. I found some more acceptable (in other words, "cooler") music styles that I liked: ska, punk.

I managed to be stunningly musically hip for about two weeks in college. I could b.s. with the best of the hipsters--discuss how this singer started xyz spin-off band, how their second album was unfortunate because their record label was horrible.

Then I realized that it takes a ridulous amoung of effort to be musically hip so I gave up and started listening to whatever caught my fancy on the radio.

I like music with interesting lyrics, especially ones that tell a story. That runs the gamut of country, oldies, musicals, alternative, "emo" (ugh, I hate that word), soft rock, punk, and even some rap. My ipod playlists are varied and eclectic.

"eclectic" may be a code word for pretentious

That being said, I do have three issues with country music.

1. There has been an influx of recent songs about what it means to be country, party in the country, or defining yourself as country. These songs are now boring. Unless you are Gretchen Wilson singing about being a redneck woman, stop singing about this and write something more interesting.

2. I HATE "Eight Second Ride" by Jake Owens. Here are the lyrics to the chorus with my notes in red.

And she said hey boy, do you mind, taking me home tonight?
No woman would ever really say that. I hope.
Because I ain't never seen a country boy with tires on his truck this high
Really? That's your reason for wanting to sleep with him? Wow. Klassy.
I said climb on up but watch the cup that I spit my dip inside
Ew. Ew ew ew ew.
Hold on tight 'cause it's gonna be wilder than any 8 second ride.
You're comparing sex to something that lasts 8 seconds? Perhaps you should look for a more flattering metaphor.

The rest of the song is equally as marvelous.

3. I also hate the song The Christmas Shoes. Words cannot describe how awful and sappy this song is. My dislike for it is so infamous that my dad bought Batman a gag gift of The Christmas Shoes turned into a story book and tried to make us watch the made-for-TV special.

It's awful. You owe yourself to listen to it here if you've never heard it. Hopefully it won't make your head explode.

Despite these complaints, I love country music. Give me some Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., George Strait, Big & Rich and I'm happy. I'm no longer ashamned to admit it.


  1. I'm with you on that! I love country music!!

    beth@ beth-doodleandbug.blogspot.com

  2. RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. I love it and it is a secret. Although when I drive vans for events I am known to 'torture' people with country stations. I am also a person that likes to listen to whats on the radio/what i hear that i like and not put a whole lot of effort into it. This is a big faux-pas in Seattle!

  3. Seriously? I thought I knew the meaning to "I am the Walrus?" What drugs was I on? Wait, I was totally clean at that age. Hmmm... Why did you listen to me? What did I say it was about?